Situated on a 3/4-acre lot in a small office park and housing a small privately owned financial lending company, the structure is sited in opposition to the prevailing orientation of other offices with their front façade to the street. This is a building made of tough materials on its exterior, but gives way to a more refined and enriched interior. Stretching north to south the building’s concrete block base is inflected at the center of its east elevation to provide a ‘slipped entry’, an extended void, for people to slide between an angled sandblasted concrete block wall and a metal clad shell – an industrial exoskeleton – that acts as both wall and roof.
Architects: Marlon Blackwell Architect
Location: Johnson, Arkansas, USA
Project Team: Marlon Blackwell, Gail Shepherd (project architect), Meryati Johari, Julie Chambers, Chris Baribeau, Matthew Griffith
Interiors: Marlon Blackwell Architect, Tom Chandler and Associates
Structural Engineer: Butch Green
Mechanical Engineer: Tim Geary and Associates
Contractors: EWI Constructors, Inc.
Owner: Bob Srygley
Project Area: 4,125 sqf
Photographs: Tim Hursley
A central lobby space conjoins a one-story level of offices and work area with a two-story area comprised of spaces for private pleasures – exercising, smoking cigars, tasting wine and cooking. The convergence of these two interior areas is manifested at the exterior with a folded roof – actually two roofs pitching in different directions that combine to invigorate the building’s profile and expression.
Each worker’s office is filled with natural light and given controlled views that are framed and screened with indigenous trees and flowers. Offices have a casual, somewhat independent relationship with the exterior window system, creating a sense of individuality in each space. The interior side of the granite faced concrete block walls is burnished and provides an accent to painted gypsum board walls.
At the south end of the building, rooms open out to decks with views to a creek below. Views are screened from the shopping mall to the south by oaks and sycamores that line the creek banks. The space of the upstairs cigar room, enveloped in walnut panels and flooring, extends through a folding glass wall to a shaded deck. This is an exterior room, with the foliage of trees filling in and completing the open side.